The Lightning Theif OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Jeremy Daniel
  • The Lightning Theif
  • NY TIMES

  • DAILY NEWS

  • NY POST

Opening Night:
July 21, 2014
Closing:
August 22, 2014

Theater: Lucille Lortel Theatre / 121 Christopher Street, New York, NY, 10014

Synopsis: 

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy has ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves. Adapted from the book The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Lightning Theif

    Sing a Song, End a War: All in a Supernatural Camp Routine ‘The Lightning Thief,’ From Theaterworks, at Lucille Lortel

    Ken Jaworowski

    July 25, 2014: I plan to change the subject when my 11-year-old daughter asks about The Lightning Thief, a new musical at the Lucille Lortel Theater. She was excited to attend, but a last-minute appointment prevented it. To tell her how much fun she missed might be a little cruel. The show, part of the Theatreworks free summer theater program, is adapted from Rick Riordan’s young-adult novel of the same name. In the story, Percy Jackson, a bright sixth grader, grows frustrated after being expelled from the latest school he’s attending. He’s got plenty of other concerns too — dyslexia, hyperactivity and a desire to find the father he never knew. Soon he discovers that Dad is one of the ancient Greek gods, and Percy is sent to a supernatural summer camp where the boy meets others like himself. Before long he and his friends embark on a journey, battling monsters and Medusa in a quest to end a war, rescue his mother and prove his courage. While the show imparts the expected reassuring lessons — “Normal is a myth/Everyone has issues they’re dealing with” — it’s seldom saccharine or didactic. The musical’s book, by Joe Tracz, and music and lyrics, by Rob Rokicki, strike a tone that’s sassy though not snarky, and energetic without being hectic.

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF The Lightning Theif

    Greek myth, comedy and songs make a great combination in this inventive show for kids

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    July 24, 2014: A blinding flash and a loud bolt of pop-rock gets the kids’ musical The Lightning Thief off to a rollicking start. For the next hour, things are fast and funny in this adaptation of Rick Riordan’s book. The Lightning Thief resets Greek mythology in the modern world. Our present-day protagonist, Percy Jackson (Eric Meyers), considers himself a garden-variety 12-year-old. He’s a good kid who’s dealing with ADHD and dyslexia. Unfortunately, he can’t sidestep trouble. He has just been expelled — again. The tween and teen years are prime times for trials and odysseys. Even more so when your absentee dad is Poseidon — as in the deity who reigns supreme in the sea. Percy discovers that he’s a demigod just as his mortal mom, Sally, is taken hostage in the underworld. Accompanied by best buds Annabeth (Kristen Stokes), a dauntless demigod, and true-blue Grover (Jordan Stanley), a satyr, Percy goes on a quest to rescue his mom and to prevent a war of Olympian proportions. Battles brew because Zeus’ lightning bolt has been pinched. A lot of plot? Sort of. The show is recommended for kids 7 and up.

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  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF The Lightning Theif

    ‘Lightning Thief’ makes a spirited plea for self-acceptance

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    July 24, 2014: You can’t accuse Theatreworks USA of lacking ambition in its shows for young audiences. Its 26th season’s production, The Lightning Thief, is an action-packed musical filled with heroic battles and mythological beasties. All this on a small budget with just six actors. And it’s free, too. It seems a little Grinch-y to quibble, but maybe tackling the first book in Rick Riordan’s megapopular Percy Jackson & the Olympians series was a bit of a stretch. Adapter Joe Tracz was forced to streamline a lot of plot while leaving some room for Rob Rokicki’s pop-rock songs. As a result, the show barrels breathlessly, moving from adventure to adventure at such a breakneck pace that it struggles to make an impression — songs like “The Day I Got Expelled” and “In the Same Boat” are very catchy, though.

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